Medicare ACOs lowered spending by $739M

The Medicare Shared Savings Program saved $739 million in 2018 when including shared savings bonuses and shared loss payments, according to new data released by CMS.

The MSSP ACO model served about 11 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2018. Data from the 2018 performance year show 66 percent of the 548 MSSP ACOs saved money when compared to CMS' benchmarks. Thirty-seven percent earned enough savings to receive bonuses. Both figures are up from previous years. 

"These numbers put to rest any notion that ACO savings are 'modest' and illustrate the strong performance of the leading Medicare alternative payment model," Clif Gaus, president and CEO of the National Association of ACOs, said in a prepared statement. "Given time, we know ACOs save money and provide benefit for patients and taxpayers."

In July, CMS added about 40 new ACOs. The new entrants marked a decline from the program's first seven years, when the program averaged more than 100 new ACOs each year. The changes came after CMS overhauled the ACO program.

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